Rough Draft #2
Coming to New York from Florida was not want I initially wanted and I’m still deciding whether or not I still want to stay. Even though I had just finished my sophomore year of high school in Florida, I was informed that I may have to go through sophomore year all over again to give me ample time to complete 8 Regent exams. My brother, having already gone through the New York public school system, informed me that it probably wouldn’t be possible to take all my Regents and Regent Readiness classes in just two years. I then became worried that I wouldn’t be able to pass these tests and I would have to stay back a couple of grades because of it. I initially feared the Regents even before I had encountered them and fully understood what they were and how they would affect my academic career.
However, at the beginning of my Junior Year Regents were the least of my worries. At the time of my arrival in New York, Florida was being hit by Hurricane, I couldn’t get in contact with my previous school, meaning that I had no formal documentation, no transfer papers or an official transcript , from the previous two years of my high school career. All I did have were all the report cards of my previous marking periods. This meant that when I went to register for schooling with the Department of Education, they didn’t have a clear idea of my academic standing and initially wanted to register me as a Freshman again. After reviewing my grades and matching my courses with the New York City school curriculums, I was then deemed fit to start as a Junior at any school that I would choose. My next step would be to choose a school which turned out to be a lot harder than initially thought.
I first grabbed the large Directory of New York schools and tried to find the best schools in Brooklyn, I did have the grades to get into a good school. After being put on a waiting list for both Jason Madison HS, and Midwood HS. These schools wanted Transcripts, and transfer papers to be able to accept me. Then I found Millenium HS, and had a rather interesting experience during that would-be registration process.
My mother and I arrived at Millennium HS in September of 2017, about a week after school had started. We were directed into the secretary’s office and was waiting for the principal to arrive. After waiting about 30 minutes the principal arrived and asked if we had transcripts and transfer papers, after we informed her no, she said that she couldn’t allow us into the school with only report cards. A Polish couple, who wanted to transfer their daughter into the school, them walked into the office. And right in front of us after just denying us entry, the Principal informed the couple that they only needed report cards, and she could help them register right away. I was shocked and angry, but I honestly didn’t dwell on the situation too long because I still hadn’t found a school to go to yet.
I again grabbed the large directory and tried to find another school. And after looking for many days, I finally came across John Dewey High School. Dewey had decent school scores, a fair amount of graduating students , and a large number of student activities and clubs, and plus my aunt went there so I guessed it was an okay school to go to. So I soon went to go register. And it was during my registration for Dewey, that I met the Parent-Teacher Coordinator who would my lifesaver and personal guardian at school for the next two years.
Mrs. Gattuso was one of favorite people at Dewey. She helped everyone in any possible way that she could whenever they needed it. I remember she would get me lunch if I didn’t want anything from the cafeteria and if I wasn’t feeling well she would let me stay in her office and talk a nap or just relax if I was ever stressed out. I would be in her office on a daily basis just helping her with whatever she needed as a thank you for her helping me and being there whenever it was needed.
Another person that really helped me was my English teacher in junior year. On the second day of school I met my English teacher, who later became my Mock Trial Coach, her name was Ms. Clark and to this day I’m extremely grateful to have been in her class. She was one of the best teachers that I have ever had. Ms. Clark, who was White and Korean, was a rather young teacher, small in frame but had the energy of a power house. She was very passionate about English and loved what she did and it really showed. She made it very easy to understand and made sure everyone was always engaged and attentive when she was teaching. Ms. Clark frequently gave tips and tips on how to remember things and formats that were important and words we could use to “spice up our vocabulary”. She was such a big help during the English Regents and I will be forever grateful for her.
It was the day of the English Regents and I was what you could call terrified. I had prepared and studied the formats but that wasn’t gonna help if I couldn’t even remember what my name was. But I ate a good breakfast arrived early and was ready. I can’t remember what happened during the test or what was on that test. But I do know that I was the last one to leave and I left in tears. I was absolutely positive that I had failed. As I was leaving I passed Ms. Clark’s room. I went inside with the intention of apologizing for falling and to tell her I was probably going to be transferred out because of it. She saw me and stopped eating her lunch. She then asked me what was wrong and gave me a hug. I explained that I was sure to have failed and I’m sorry to have disappointed her. She then sat me down, asked me every possible question about the test, what I did and the formats that I used, and how I had answered the presented questions. It was then that I knew that I had a teacher that actually cared about her students and was there for them, even when she didn’t need to be. She told me that, from everything I told her that I would’ve passed with at least a 65. I left reassured and grateful for pep talk and reassurance.
After waiting two weeks antagonizing weeks, the scores were announced. Ms. Clark then informed me that I had passed with a 90, the highest grade in the class, and that she was very proud of me and that she knew there was truly nothing to worry about.
This has made me realize that there are teachers and counselors that actually care about their students and they would do whatever it takes to actually counsel them and make them feel better about whatever they are going through, it made me grateful that I had those types of teachers in my life and not someone who was there only for their paycheck.